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THE NOONER for June 26, 2015




As I wrote in June 10th's Nooner, I'm preparing to ramp up for the 2016 election season. As part of that, I'm working on much more robust election analysis on the district pages. Detailed analysis will be available for Nooner paid subscribers. I'm also raising the subscription price for new subscribers to $49.99 effective July 1 (exisiting paid subscribers can renew at $39.99 through December 31).

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  • SD25 (Pasadena): added businessman Teddy Choi (D)
  • AD61 (Riverside): added LAPD police officer Rudy Aranda (R)

Who would have thought that SCOTUS would issue the same-sex marriage before the case of the legality of redistricting commissions? That one will have to wait until Monday, when the three decisions are expected. Gavin, is it okay if I link to this now?

Anyway, because of the activity occurring on First Street NE this morning and a 10am meeting, I'll be a bit short. Actually, I was all prepared to write on redistricting today!

CA07 (East Sacto): White House boosts Ami Bera one more time over trade [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - "'Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Bera, workers and businesses in California will have more opportunity to compete and win in markets both at home and abroad,' [White House spokesman Josh] Earnest said in a prepared statement."

RED HERRING: Serrano vs. Priest School Financing Case Pops Up in SB 277 Debate [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds] - "It seems to me lawyers defending SB 277 will have no problem arguing that a compelling state interest exists dealing with health concerns to override objections based on the nearly five-decade old case."


Same-sex decision impact on California after the jump . . .




No doubt you have heard of the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which reversed the Sixth Circuit's decision and now requires all 50 states to issue marriage licenses to two persons of the same sex. The decision was a 5-4 decision authored by Sacramento's Anthony Kennedy, and each of the four dissenters wrote a separate opinion, which is rare.

While our diverse body of 9,000 Nooner readers likely have different opinions of the ruling, it's impossible not to recognize the Court-led evolution over the last 22 years:

  • 1996: Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages and benefits to partners thereof
  • 2003: Lawrence v. Texas - throwing out anti-sodomy laws
  • 2008: Obama and H. Clinton run in Democratic Primary opposing same-sex "marriage"
  • 2008: Among high-turnout presidential general election, California voters prohibited same-sex marriage with Prop. 8 on a 52.3%-47.7%
  • 2013: Windsor v. United States - holding Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional
  • 2013: Hollingsworth v. Perry - upholding California's court-ordered same-sex marriages (on standing issues)
  • 2015: Obergefell v. Hodges - finding Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to issue marriage licenses to two members of the same sex

Once a state opened the door by allowing same-sex marriage, today was going to arrive. While there hasn't been a formal declaration of the standard of scrutiny to be used in evaluating the differentiation of the class of gays and lesbians, the "emanations of the penumbra" (for the legal geeks) is that such standard is intermediate. Intermediate scrutiny is also used for decisions on Equal Protection cases regarding gender.

Thus, once two persons had the right to a same-sex marriage in one state, it was going to be a difficult Fourteenth Amendment hurdle to identify a governmental interest sufficient to have differential rights among states. In the end, the only way to prohibit same-sex marriage would have been through an amendment to the United States Constitution.

From a California perspective, clearly we have already have had legal same-sex marriage, but the case is seismic nevertheless. Beyond the headline-grabbing requirement that all states issue licenses, the decision requires all states to recognize marriages between two people of the same sex from other states. Thus, today begins national portability for thousands of married Californians with an equal protection of the law and the benefits thereof.

That's the California takeaway. 

Noted irony about the news this June--the Union won after the defeat of the troops under the Confederate battle flag (at the center of the current national debate). In reconstruction following that war, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed. The Fourteenth Amendment is the basis for the decision to require same-sex marriage rights in all states. Whether you agree with this decision or not, June 2015, leading up to next weekend's 239th birthday of our country has been historic. One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War in which between 600,000 and 900,000 soldiers died, the fight over states' rights and our Constitution as a federation continues.


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Rose & Kindel's Tony Gonzalez! Weekend greetings to Assemblymember Matthew Harper (Saturday)!

Have a Noonerific weekend,






  • GLORIA MOLINA -- the first Latina elected to the Assembly, LA City Council, and Board of Supervisors -- discusses her trailblazing career in this exclusive interview:
    California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee is seeking a Manager to assist with expanding the business and programs of its for-profit video production studio, FireStar Studios. The Manager will oversee the daily operations of the Studio, manage production and administrative staff, identify and market new business and oversee client estimates, billings and cash flow.

    Qualifications: bachelor's degree; outstanding written and oral communication and organizational skills; creativity and ability to positively lead under tight deadlines.  To learn more about the position visit our website at

  • Harbage Consulting, a health policy consulting firm with expertise in public programs and delivery system reform, is seeking a Communiations Coordinator for its Sacramento office. [more info]
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America is looking for a Special Events Lead Coordinator to work out of the San Francisco office.  This position is responsible for the logistics and fundraising support for a suite of high-profile special events in California and possibly in other states. Someone with an eye for details, highly organized and super fun would be a great match.Please click Special Events Coordinator for the full job description and applications can be sent to
  • The Center for Responsible Lending has an opening for a Policy and Government Affairs Associate/Counsel in Oakland, CA.  The associate will work with stakeholders in California and other Western states to develop and advance strategies for legislative and regulatory reform at the state level to prevent predatory lending practices.   If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please visit  If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter describing why you are a fit for this position to




U.S. Supreme Court upholds federal health care law - SFGate
Demonstrators in support of the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama's health care law may provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.

Budget Deal Brings Major Changes To University Of California Pension System | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
New UC hires will come under state pension limit

Caltrans Boss Defends Bay Bridge Weld Work
The head of Caltrans said Friday that he wouldn't have allowed the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge to open in September if he didn't think it was safe, and that he had "high confidence in the decisions we made" regarding thousands of questionable welds.

Right & Left Squeeze Tax Reform Idea :: Fox&hounds
Yet, the discussion about tax reform has corralled few followers who toil in the trenches of Sacramento politics.

No High-deductible CalPERS Medical Plan In California Budget | The Sacramento Bee
Jon Ortiz @
Proposal could resurface through collective bargaining

Leland Yee Case: Lawyers Seek Another Delay In Racketeering Trial
In recent court papers, the defense team in the sweeping political corruption, money laundering and gun trafficking case asked U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to postpone a trial set to begin with jury selection in late July. Breyer already once before reluctantly delayed the trial, and has been asked to do so again.

California Doctor Groups Praise Assembly's Vote On Vaccine Measure
California physician groups praised the Assembly’s passage of one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation, and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign it if the bill reaches his desk.

Lawmakers Agree to Help Veterans Agency Fill a Budget Gap
A plan for legislation to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift money to fill a budget shortfall, which threatens health care for patients, wins support from Republican lawmakers.

What Would The Proposed California Vaccine Law Do?
The California Assembly has  passed  a bill that would create one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation and would require more children to be vaccinated as a condition of school enrollment.

Disney Wants To Invest $1 Billion At Disneyland, California Adventure In Exchange For No New Gate Tax - The Orange County Register
20-year deal that bans tax on Disney tickets to end in 2016, just as councilwoman wants to make it tougher to levy taxes

Live Reaction: Supreme Court Clears The Way For Same-sex Marriage Nationwide
In a landmark civil rights decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage that can't be denied by state law. The 5-4 ruling culminates a two-decade struggle for gays and lesbians to win marriage equality under the Constitution. Here's a look...

CalPERS Returns Likely To Fall Short Of 7.5% Target, Official Says
The nation’s biggest public pension fund is falling far short of its annual investment goals.

Health Coverage Expanded To Undocumented Immigrants In 35 California Counties | The Sacramento Bee
Hudson Sangree @
Move covers low-income residents, including thousands of undocumented immigrants

A Clean Bill Of Healthcare
The Supreme Court sided with common sense over ideology Thursday when it ruled that Congress intended all low-income Americans to be eligible for subsidized health insurance under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And contrary to what opponents of the healthcare law argued, the justices did not reach that decision by ignoring the plain meaning of the law or by allowing the Obama administration to usurp the power of Congress. In fact, the opposite was true: The court turned away a bogus and historically inaccurate reading that would have contradicted the law's very purpose.

Washington: House Republicans Revive California Water Wish List | Congress | Mcclatchy Dc
Michael Doyle @

Californians, Noting State's Key Role, Praise Same-sex Marriage Ruling
Lorri L. Jean, chief executive of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said Friday that California played an important role leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation.

Obamacare ruling hailed by California officials, consumer groups - LA Times
California officials and consumer groups cheered the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday to uphold Obamacare premium subsidies nationwide, and some health-law supporters chided justices for hearing the challenge in the first place.

Opinion: Amnesty For California Motorists Merely A First Step | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Budget trailer bill gives drivers a break

Governor Signs State Budget, Increasing Arts Funding To $8.3 Million | Kqed Arts
California arts groups will get a big bump in funding in the coming fiscal year — even more than previously thought.

Bay Area commuters say they'd pay to improve public transit
Michael Cabanatuan @
Local residents seem a bit conflicted and perhaps even illogical when it comes to transportation issues, according to a new poll done for the business-oriented Bay Area Council, but sitting in creeping traffic or standing on crowded trains can do that to people.

Tracking Changes In Same-sex Marriage
Where gay marriage stands Same-sex marriage legal 2015 Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage is a constitutional right Friday, June 26: In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court declared gay marriage a fundamental right. "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of a person,"...